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My Personal and Professional Background, How I Work, and My Clinical Registration

I was born and educated in Lower Hutt. I'm married with three children, ranging in age from late teens to 31. I'm also is also a Grandfather to two. Being part of a large extended family and friendship group and living near the sea and bush in Lower Hutt provides a nice balance from working life in the busy city. I am a keen cyclist, tramper, occasional mountain runner and tennis player.

My counselling is informed by a number of theories of change including Solution Focused Brief therapy, Positive Psychology, Narrative Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). These approaches share a belief that focusing on your strengths, on what’s going well and on what you want to be different, rather than on what’s not going well, can lead more directly to solutions and positive change.

My counselling is also practical and pragmatic and you will leave each session with some insight, changed perspective, agreed strategies to try - away from therapy - and a way forward. We will also make an agreed plan for any future meetings.

I also believe that many clients can benefit and make significant changes in a short space of time and successful therapy does not need to be of a long duration.

I am open to and will expect feedback on the helpfulness of our therapy and I will ensure that you are fully informed about any aspect of my therapeutic approach. 

Working with Children and Teenagers: 

I initially meet children and teenagers alongside their parents, or with the parents alone to gain an understanding of the family and of the general worries and concerns they are facing. The information gathered from this session is used to inform what future sessions will look like, for example parent sessions, family sessions, individual child/teen sessions or a combination of all three. 

Formal Education

BCA (Victoria NZ 1979- 1982)

Post Grad Diploma in Social Work (Canterbury NZ 1991- 1992)

Diploma Youth and Development (CYP- India - Chandigarh 1986-1987)

Cert Drug and Alcohol Assessment (CIT NZ 1988)

Cert Clinical Supervision (CIT NZ 1990)

Work History

I have spent the past 35 years working in a range of clinical social work, counselling, therapy and leadership roles in justice, health and tertiary education settings in New Zealand and Australia. This has included clinical work in child, youth and family mental health services, relationships counselling services and family violence and sexual violence treatment and prevention. For the past twenty two years I have also been in leadership and management roles within hospital/district health board and University health and counselling services.

I have also worked extensively in the areas of restorative practice, suicide prevention, wellbeing promotion and in presenting and providing training in the areas of sexual violence prevention, suicide intervention, psychological first aid,  coaching, and individual and organisational mental health and wellbeing promotion.

Career Highlights

  • I spent one year after graduating from University working as a volunteer youth worker in a UNHCR Vietnamese refugee camp in Hongkong in 1983.

  • Ten years working for the NZ Department of Justice in probation, victim - offender mediation and in family and sexual violence treatment. I was part of the development of Wellstop, (Community based Sexual Violence treatment) and was appointed as the initial programme coordinator in 1993.

  • Eight years working as a Clinical Social Worker and Family Therapist in DHB Child Youth and Family Mental Health Services in Australia and NZ and was Team Leader of the Hutt Valley DHB Youth Speciality Mental Health Service for four years.

  • 18 years as Manager of the Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service, Victoria University of Wellington. Led the development of the project for Victoria to become a Health Promoting University.

  • Currently self-employed counsellor, clinical supervisor, organisational consultant, facilitator and trainer.

Major customers I contract to provide training and restorative facilitation services for include Benestar Employee Assistance Programme customer organisations, Respect Ed Aotearoa- Sexual Harm Prevention organisation, and Victoria University of Wellington.

  • Current Associate of the Diana Unwin Chair of Restorative Justice, Victoria University of Wellington. I have been involved in a range of restorative practice contracts including being part of the NZ Ministry of Health Surgical Mesh Listening Circle Restorative facilitation team in 2019.

  • Current Clinical Advisory Board Chair, MOSAIC Wellington. (Support service for sexually abused males)

  • Life member of VUWSA (Victoria University of Wellington Students Association)

Registration and Professional Membership

Registered with the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board. Reg. No. 9577.

Full member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Social Workers Association.

About Me: About Me
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